The WORD in Other Words by Fr Alex Muana SVD (Philippines) for Saturday Week 1 in Advent
Mt 9:35–10:1, 5a, 6-8
In today‘s Gospel, Jesus calls us to announce the Good News that (a) we are all healed and saved in him; (b) all are created in God‘s image; (c) all are entitled to freedom, respect, food, shelter, clothing, work, mutual support and participation in governing civil society.
Sharing the Good News, then, cannot be separated from doing work for justice. To be ignorant about political issues or to neglect one‘s responsibility to vote is to support corrupt political systems. Due to our inaction, we may be supporting injustice. If we pay bribes we support the bribery system. If we stop at merely offering charity and do not look at the root causes of people‘s needs, we are responsible in some way for their situation.
Jesus, the divine system-changer, has commissioned us through our baptism to further the reflection of God‘s kingdom of love and mercy in our world by attacking the roots of injustice. As small Christian communities, we have the opportunity to reflect together and to support one another in the ministry of social justice. Each community is called to look around and identify specific situations that are unjust and to probe deeper to discover their root causes. This needs patience, but it is time and energy well spent, for it brings the problem into focus so that appropriate action may be planned.
When the community has thoroughly observed all the aspects of the problem and its causes, it must turn to the Scriptures to pray, reflect, and listen to the judgment of God‘s Word on the situation. Looking at the problem with the eyes of faith will enable people to see the way forward to address the unjust situation.